Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Maker Math: Volume Exploration - The Candy Box

There's been many iterations of the volume related candy box exploration, and this is one I'll use with students in the days ahead to teach and practice finding the volume of three-dimensional figures. Prior to teaching this lesson, students will study and learn to use rulers.

Bon Bon Recipe and Picture Site
Angela liked to make candy. She especially enjoyed making bon bons the old fashioned way. Her candy bon bons became so popular that people started asking if they could buy them from her to sell at their shops. Angela decided to put each bon bon in an individual box, and then put 24 individual bon bons boxes in each big box. That way people could display the big box while selling each individual bon bon.

First, she designed an individual box for each bon bon. She created a net made up of squares that measured one inch on each side. That was the perfect shape for her bon bons as they fit tightly, but did not squish the candy. Angela worked with a local packaging company to find the just right paper--a kind of paper that wouldn't melt the candy and keep its shape too.

Next she wanted to make a good strong and beautiful box to fit all 24 bon bon boxes. That's where she needs your help. Follow the directions below to help Angela.

Net Maker
Math Investigation

  1. Take a look at the bon bon (real or pretend (a clay version)).
  2. Create the one-inch box. One-inch box net available via this website
  3. Go to the Maker Station and choose the kinds of paper(s) and other supplies you'll use to make a box that can easily fit 24 bon bon boxes. The Maker Station for this project includes a variety of paper weights, cardboard, tape, and decorative materials. 
  4. Design your box net and create the box.
  5. Complete the box data sheet and try out the enrichment options listed on that sheet.
  • Have students bring in a number of recycled boxes. Measure and figure out the volume of those boxes.
  • Make a collection of nets available for students to make, measure, and describe. 
  • Practice figuring out the volume of a variety of three dimensional prisms: simple sheets,  more complex Common Core practice. and word problems.
  • Show this Khan Academy volume video:

Real World Connections
Tell students that there are companies that's goal is to make just right packaging for products. There's even a packaging magazines and websites. Happi is one example. Ask students what skills they think a packaging expert would need, and how a business like that would be important. Show the videos below that tell how cardboard boxes are made:

More about Packaging and its effect on the environment. 

Packaging Design